As the director of SEEDS, I can’t help but wonder about the effect my film has on its audience. What insights did the film provide for you? What were your takeaways? Do you have a comment you’d like to share? A discussion you’d like to spark?
As a recent South African (SA) – secular Jewish immigrant to the US and being hypersensitive to the issues of Race & Colonialism – I congratulate you and your team for demystifying many myths and clearing away the “fog” of past and current public hysteria that has continued to obscure the core of the Israel – Palestinian issue.
In my view one of the the mindsets of Zionists from the get-go was strongly influenced by the 19th and early 20th Century European concept of Colonialism and bringing “Civilization” and economic “Development & “Progress” to the rest of the world, at the expense of indigenous populations, who at best, due to racial, cultural and religious differences were to be regarded as “untermenchen”. It is unfortunate that this Colonial mindset and attitude has over time transformed itself into the modern, cancerous mindset of Apartheid.
In the post Nelson Mandela era in South Africa, there is no more ethnic cleansing, no more forced removals, no more detention without trial. There is the Freedom Charter based on the fundamentals of the US Bill Of rights. and a Constitution. It’s not Utopia by any means, but rather, hard work in progress.
Until Israeli society summons up the courage to deal deeply & meaningfully with its own internal Colonial past and present , I fear there will be no end to this terrible conflict.
Hi, Im writing a thesis on barriers to education for Palestinian youth in the West Bank. Researching the historical context of Palestinian education currently. I would love to view the film but its blocked by PBS here in Australia. Any other viewing option?
Since becoming an Evangelical Christian and seriously studying the Bible for many years, I am a strong supporter of Israel and the Jews returning to their historical homeland.
“Seeds of Conflict” was an eye-opening experience as I watched the program on PBS. While I knew that the Jews has purchased the land they settled, I did not know that by-and-large they purchased it from apparently uncaring and uninvolved absentee Ottoman/Arab land owners. This seems to have been a critical foundation-piece of what was to become the “conflict”.
The arrival of the Russian Jews (Ashkenazim) fleeing the pogroms of that country seems to have played a major role in the political orientation of Israel (a strong bent to socialism exemplified by the establishment of communal living in Kibbutz).
The harsh attitude toward and treatment of the locals instigated by the early Paid Paramilitary Guards composed of Russian Jews was also a significant “planting of the seeds”.
It’s encouraging that there were Jewish voices warning that ill treatment of the native Arabs could/would led to conflict but its disappointing that they were not heeded. They were, it turns out, voices “crying in the wilderness”.
Thank you for this fine production. I’ve already begun referring many of my friends, most all very strong supporters of Israel, to this website and the film.
A great piece of research that enables everyone to really understand:
— the reasons, the importance of integration between societies looking for a place to live,
— land acquisitions goals of so many groups which havelong histories across the region of what is now called the Middle East ( why is this called the idle East) countries, and the people who now confuse the past with the future.
This piece of research provides a base for Jews, Arabs, Christians , everyone who immigrates to lands faraway, to clearly see the need to search out gateways to peace amongst all groups who perceive this region as a checker board on which war and peace are paws in the greater game of living.
Who has the right to take over land – something that we are so short of – and the importance of determining a livable peace between mankind, not simply in the targeted region but across this multi-cultural world? This 1913 Seeds of Conflict clearly defines the flow of how we people of this land have descended into confusion when peace is so clear. This piece of research documents clearly the reasons why we need a table where we can secure a win-win result to the present uneasiness and prolonged death cycle of the Palestine issue.
Why can we not get this 1913 Seeds of Conflict circulated to all people who are looking for a gateway to a solution to peace? I am a Canadian born in Quebec, now living in Alberta and who has worked in this region and who fell in love with the region which is discussed . God/Ala has stopped making land therefore the conflict needs a resolution and this research documentary is the base for the solution. I thank the producers for having done such a great research document. Muslim, Jews and Christians (all) must find a pathway to peace and this documentary clearly shows that we are one people and we MUST trust each other as we move forward in our lives. This film / documentary is the guiding light towards this pathway. Many thanks.
In sincere appreciation for this great research into the past and shining the light!,
July 2nd 2015
The Jews of Jerusalem of 1913 were steeped in European Talmudic scholarship and had no connection with the local Arab community anymore than they have with Israel today. They accepted their dhimmi (2nd class citizenship) status. The newcomer Jews from Europe who came to frankly retake the land, a land they thought was empty and frankly considering that there were less than a half a million people in a the land now being occupied by 10 million people, that was a reasonable feeling a the time. And to just focus on one early episode, where the Jew angrily chastises the poor Arab who does not understand how his land became Jewish land. That vignette focuses on the disenfranchised Arab. It neglects to explain, that the Arab did not own the land he farmed. The land was leased to the Arab but was in turn sold to the Jew. And the seller was an Arab. That is how the Jews got much of the land. They bought it. And in fact much of what they bought early was no-man’s land. Tel Aviv is the best example of that. Tel Aviv was built from empty uninhabited sand beaches that the former owners thought were worthless–why else would they sell it.
I was astonished to find out that the Jews did not forcefully take over the land but instead purchased it.
I was also amazed to see how the Arab leaders acknowledged that the Jews were coming back to their ancestral land.
I was always told the Jews were conquerors and now I feel duped.
Overall, my wife and I thought this was an informative and well-presented and well-documented film. The points of view were balanced. The main surprise I got was the early description of the Arab (Bedouins?) view of the land compared to the Jews’ views. Arabs: “we’ve always been on this land.” Jews: “We paid for it under the laws of the land.” It sounded just like the divergent viewpoints of American Indians and early American settlers.
Anywhere to see/buy/rent film in Palestine?
THAT JEWS & ARABS LIVED IN jERUSALEM IN HARMONY IS ONLY BECAUSE jEWS WERE SMALL IN NUMBER AND NO THREAT TO ARABS ESPECIALLY RELIGIOUS AND HASSIDIC JEWS WERE NOT CONSIDERED THREATS. THE YOUNG HALUTZIM FROM RUSSIA & RUMANIA WHO CAME AND BOUGHT LAND AND BUILT KIBBUTZIM WERE BIG THREATS TO ARAB TENANT FARMERS WHO WERE THROWN OFF JEWISH-OWNED LAND, NOW FARMED BY JEWISH LABOR. ARABS & JEWS CAN NEVER LIVE TOGETHER. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE, RELIGION, CULTURE, MENTALITY… WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON WITH ARABS.
I took 3 High School Exchange students from Bosnia-Herzegovenia, Montenegro, and Lithuania, to a showing of this film. Discussion afterwards included comments by a Rabbi, an Imam, and a Christian Pastor. Two of my students are familiar with the Ottoman Empire–and are Muslim. I personally was very moved by the film and the implications it has for all immigrant groups seeking a new life–and also by the observation that most of the Jews who arrived in Palestine before WWI and then again after WWII, were traumatized by severe persecution–This continues today–How does a government, a culture, assist immigrants such as these to make a transition into another culture–how do people build trust and come to understand that a healthy, non-violent future can only be achieved by dialogue, by slow assimilation, by leadership that builds bridges rather than defend settlements. How in fact, does any civilization live with and learn to love diversity? Those are the answers we must seek–because domination leads to violence and then a discounting of the “other”–so that all “others” are seen as enemy. What has been done to us, we then do to others–a terrible misinterpretation of the Golden Rule!
I recently watch 1913: Seeds of Conflict and thought the movie did an outstanding job taking the viewer through the history of this region. I have to say the more I learn the more sympathetic I have become to the Palestinians. I think what it would be like if the Canadians created settlements in the US, forcing Americans further and further South, bulldozing our homes along the way until we were all forced into the State of Florida. How would be feel? As I see it, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have become nothing but concentration camps for the Palestinians. Another way to look at it it’s pretty much what Putin is now doing to the Ukrainian people. A land grab.
Every other county in the world, other than the US, objects to what the Israelis are doing in this region. There have be as many as 40 resolutions in the UN to deplore the Israeli actions and to bring peace to this region, all have been block by the US. Israel has no incentive to make peace. They’re proven they can do pretty much whatever they want to do to the Palestinians knowing that our military will bail them out.
The film is remarkable, yet the audience asked the usual, off the mark questions and no one who understood history could redirect the conversation to what the Director clearly understands; that unscrupulous politicians will always use the divisions of the past to fuel hatred in the present. Thank you for making this seriously revealing and thus important film. You feel a bit less of a prisoner of the past watching this extraordinary footage and hearing the dialogue.
Thank you for directing a wonderful film, I saw it last night, January 29th, at Hebrew College. I thought the film really exploded some Zionist myths and also painted the Zionists in a poor light. The Zionists came to Palestine to build a state that excluded the local inhabitants, which, to me, is the root cause of the conflict. The film touches on this.
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